Medway MP and long-term supporter Tracey Crouch found out more about the Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex’s life-saving work during a visit to its new Rochester Airport headquarters.
The service relies on income from the general public to fund its operations and needs to raise more than £11m a year to keep flying – each emergency callout costs an average of £3,700.
During the visit, she presented the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Dr Helen Bowcock OBE DL, with a donation collected from people who attended her recent pensioners fair.
The Chatham and Aylesford MP also had the opportunity to inspect one of the charity’s three specially-equipped helicopters and to meet members of the medical and flight crew.
Ms Crouch said: “The highly-skilled crews of Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex service put the people of their community at the heart of everything they do. It is essential we continue to support an organisation striving to save lives every minute of every day.
“The air ambulance plays a vital role in supporting the publicly-funded emergency services and I was privileged to get an update on its life-saving work and to make a contribution, on behalf of my constituents, to its running costs.”
Dr Bowcock said: “We were delighted to welcome Tracey to our new headquarters at Rochester and are particularly grateful to her for her support and to all of those people who contributed to the donation that she has presented to us today.
“It seems most appropriate that, as someone who has had ministerial responsibility for the charity sector, she is the first MP to visit us here and to acknowledge the pioneering and life-saving service that our charity delivers.”
The charity celebrates its 30th anniversary this year having started operations as the Kent Air Ambulance in November 1989.
Initially based at Rochester Airport, which is now part of the North Kent Enterprise Zone, it moved to Marden in 2000 before returning to its original home in 2018.
Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust, Rochester City Airport, Maidstone Road, Chatham, Kent ME5 9SD
Charity no. 1021367 • A company limited by guarantee • Registered in England and Wales • Company no. 2803242
Air Ambulance Promotions Ltd • A wholly owned subsidiary company of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust • Charity no. 1021367
Registered in England and Wales • Company no. 2674568